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April 2009
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Get money for used gear

8:20 AM Wed, Apr 15, 2009 |
Posted by: Walt Zwirko
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We had an item on the Computer Corner Blog last week about recycling your old electronics gear. That’s a great environmental option, of course, but it doesn’t necessarily put any money back in your pocket.

You can always try to unload your old cell phone, laptop or MP3 player on eBay or craigslist, but there’s a certain amount of hassle involved in finding a buyer, agreeing to terms and getting your money.

 Enter RadioShack, the Fort Worth-based electronics retailer that probably has a shop in your neighborhood. They’ve just expanded a trade-in program to 4,400 company-owned stores.

You can’t unload everything here; my old Averatec brand notebook, for instance, isn’t listed as eligible on the RadioShack Web site (where you can do your own appraisal, by the way).

 I have a vintage Audiovox SMT5600 smartphone sitting in a drawer at home; that product does qualify. If in “excellent” condition (er, probably not), it’s functional (it is) and has a charger (it does), I can get — drumroll, please — $14.34.

As a point of reference, I looked on eBay and found several SMT5600 models on offer at a “buy it now” price ranging from $22.87 to $79.99.

RadioShack’s trade-in program does offer as much as several hundred dollars on high-demand items like certain notebook computers and cameras. While you’re unlikely to get the best deal for your gear here, it is a low-hassle way to get a few extra bucks to spend on new stuff (stuff that you’ll have to buy at RadioShack, by the way, because your trade-in bonus comes in the form of a RadioShack gift card).

Whatever you get back, it’s still more money than you’d get by throwing something out or letting it collect dust in a drawer. And you’ll know it’s being recycled instead of piling up in a landfill somewhere.

E-mail askwalt@wfaa.com




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